River City Saloon

1133 S.W. Jefferson(503) 224-2800

Just off the trail of Pub Crawl I wandered into a bar. The lights were low enough to give this bar a particular hole-in-the-wall feel. It was comfortable.

Somewhere between a sports bar and drunk house, this bar was born. I’m not sure if the management purposely picked out this look or it happened over the years. The crowd seemed strangely at ease or maybe they had been there too long to care anymore.

There was a baseball game on and the waitress was very enthusiastic about her team to say the least. She was very sassy and I didn’t catch her name, but it seems it should be something like Laura-Lee. When she finished flirting with a table of baseball hooligans she came to my table. I was by myself.

I had jumped ahead of the schedule in hopes of getting something to eat before the rest of the drunkards from Pub Crawl caught up with me. Just as I began to tell the waitress my order her hand flew up in front of my face as if to tell me, “do you mind? I’m watching the game.”

But, the hand didn’t stay long, and other than that she was very attentive. In fact she was almost graceful. She was able to flirt with the baseball hooligans, make fun of the bartender, watch the baseball game, get everyone their drinks and still maintain a trailer park attitude. I ordered a margarita on the rocks no salt, a bowl of seafood chowder and the pork chop special.

She brought me the chowder. It had everything I like in a soup, it was hot, it was in a bowl and best of all it came with those great little oyster crackers. You know those fun hexagon crackers that you never remember to buy when you’re at the store.

A few minutes later she came back to make sure everything was OK, her eyes never leaving the television not even for a second. I took the first sip of my margarita and swished it around my mouth for a half of a second. I realized it was one of the best margaritas I’ve had in Portland. This surprised me so much I found new hope, that maybe, just maybe my pork chop would be as good. I was dead wrong.

Well, it was a pork product as far as I can tell. And it was thoroughly cooked. But it had no flavor whatsoever. As I chewed it, and pushed it around my mouth with my tongue, it felt like pork. It didn’t taste bad; it just didn’t taste like anything. The fries were OK, and the grilled toast was great. At least I think it was toast. This “Saloon” was exactly what I needed it to be. I was able to put some food in my empty gut and enjoy a damn fine margarita.

The people watching entertainment were at an all-time high. And up until my loud co-workers arrived, it was a very comfortable place to lay low for a couple of hours. Although the pork chop was not good I can suggest for future reference the Wednesday prime rib special. You can get a 6 oz. prime rib for $6.95 or a 10 oz. prime rib for $7.95. And they make very strong, very tasty drinks.